Why You Won’t Ask for Sex The Right Way

Why You Won’t Ask for Sex The Right Way

1. You will not ask for what you need in a relationship because you don’t know what you want.

Sydney: “I grew up on porn and thought that’s what I wanted, but I know I don’t want that.”

Sydney, a young intellect, came to my office because her sex life was not providing the results she desired.

Sydney: “You know Mr. Ayala. My intellect tells me that since we have had the sexual revolution decades ago sex would be easy for women. We would get the sex that we want in the relationships we work hard in. But it just doesn’t work that way! It’s supposed to be easy! But no, I’m with a man that I love and I know he loves me and we are just there. We don’t even fight…everything is just level feeling.”

Sydney and I spent some time exploring and observing her sexual dissatisfaction during her analysis and one of these sessions on the couch I asked,

Mr. Ayala: “What is he not doing?”

Syndey: “He doesn’t do anything.”

Mr. Ayala: “What is anything?”

Sydney: “…Like anything. I don’t know…what he’s supposed to do as a man.”

Mr. Ayala: “What’s a man do?”

Sydney: “Make me feel good. Excite me. Make my cheeks red.”

Mr. Ayala: I stay silent here. This is where an analyst struggles to stay silent. I want to guide Sydney to the sudden eureka moment, but those eurekas that are guided so swiftly are usually those that we never use.

Sydney: “I don’t know what I want. I grew up on porn and thought that’s what I wanted, but I know I don’t want that, but I don’t want just the same thing we usually do. I need something different, I just don’t know what that ‘different’ is.

In my time practicing psychoanalytically and clinically I’ve witnessed individuals tell me that their sex life is not what they want, and when what is wanted is explored, they cannot answer what they really want. Many of us understand that we are not getting what we want bodily and emotionally, but we don’t know how to put that into words.

Sydney was suffering from these same issues. When she gave herself some space to think about what she really wanted from her spouse sexually, she saw that she didn’t know what she wanted at that time. She always looked outwardly, such as to porn or to her girlfriends, for advice on what sex should be like. But none of these external resources showed her what she, Sydney, wanted.

2. You will keep your needs vague because if you do make them clear you will know if you’re not getting them met.

Sydney: “I’m scared that if I tell him everything that I want and need from him… if I am that vulnerable, that I won’t get it.”

After some time in analysis, Sydney started to be able to put into words what she expected out of her sex life. She could separate what she felt she was “trained” to want and be like because of porn and her girlfriends who they themselves got their ideas from porn and magazines.

Sydney gained the ability to tolerate some of her negative feelings towards telling her man what she wanted specifically and emotionally and worked on this with him. There was a snag in this process though.

Sydney: “Things have gotten better between us in our sex life, in general really, and we are much lighter and less stuck to the routine, but I still don’t feel happy enough. This is all progress, but something is wrong.”

Mr. Ayala: There was a silence here between Sydney and I. The typical thing is to ask “what is wrong?” but from the time Sydney and I have had together there is an understanding that these questions can be too invasive and can kill progress in treatment.

Mr. Ayala: “What should happen?”

Sydney: “I should get what I need!” She laughs and then sighs. “I think I confused him. I told him some of the things I know that I want, but I didn’t really tell him. Does that make sense? We had this conversation that went on for hours and I could have put it all together for him in 10 minutes. I don’t know why I did that.”

Mr. Ayala: “No idea?”

A couple sessions we came back to Sydney not knowing why she confused her man.

Sydney: “I’m scared that if I tell him everything that I want and need from him… if I am that vulnerable, that I won’t get it.”

Mr. Ayala: “Then what?”

Sydney: “Then I’ll know for sure that I won’t ever get what I need. I rather not know and just blame circumstances. There is no way I am going back out there in the dating game.”

Even when we can put enough of our sexual wants and needs into words, we have a high chance of hitting the same snag Sydney did and we won’t communicate our needs because of the fear of clearly knowing that we are not getting what we need.

Sydney told her lover that she’d like to have sex 2 more times a week, but what she really wanted was to have more play and a more lustful connection. Keeping her needs vague at just upping the frequency stopped her from seeing that her lover is not giving her what she wanted out of his own choice or inability.

Sydney: “If he doesn’t know I can’t blame him. If he does know, then I will have to solve the problem.”

3. We’re not very good at negotiating our needs so we avoid conflict.

Sydney: “I don’t want to tell him because I don’t know if I can handle what he says back to me.

I don’t know if Sydney understood this, but she was doing a great deal of work to make sure that the relationship she valued over anything else didn’t fall apart and become a statistic.

A lot of people see going to a psychoanalyst for analysis as being weak, as being a selfish narcissist who wants to cry about their problems or being an elitist stuck up jerk since historically psychoanalysis was for the elites of society such as Princess Marie Bonaparte who herself saved Freud from the Nazis.

Sydney brought this up during one of our analytic hours and said,

Sydney:” You know, you’re the only psychoanalyst out here in Orlando. I was confused by what you were and how were you different from a therapist. I’ve had a lot of therapists and I’m really open-minded about all ways of healing. I remember I sat for a long time just reading what you wrote every week trying to figure out who you were and what was a “Modern Psychoanalyst”.

Mr. Ayala: “Why come to a psychoanalyst?”

Sydney: “I got tired of being told what to do by a therapist who wanted to be my best friend. It’s nice having a friend in my therapist, but it makes me censor myself because I want them to like me and then I just end up paying to hang out with someone instead of working on what’s really deeply hurting me. In here, I can say whatever I want and you’re not trying to placate me or tell me that I’m wrong or give me immediate advice on what I should do. You just suffer with me and help me out of my suffering once I am ready to stop.”

Mr. Ayala: We speak about this a bit, but it’s easy to get caught up in good feelings as an analyst when you’re with an analysand. The conversation could have stayed this way the whole analytic hour, but there was something in me wondering what this had to do with what Sydney and I had been exploring for months.

Mr. Ayala: “What does this have to do with what we’ve been talking about all these months.”

Sydney: She laughs, “You know, I think I’m getting a hang of this psychoanalysis thing. I knew you were going to ask that.”

Mr. Ayala: “Why’s that?”

Sydney: “Because there was something else on my mind, but I was censoring myself and trying to be happy and nice so I didn’t have to bring it up.”

Mr. Ayala: “Should we bring it up?”

Sydney: “Is it ok if I bring it up in 2 more minutes? I was liking this moment.”

Mr. Ayala: “That’s good with me.”

After those 2 minutes, Sydney tells me that she does this same thing with her husband. She has confused him and been vague with him about her sexual and emotional needs and wants so she just floods him with a ton of good feelings and tells him that he is doing great.

Mr. Ayala “Why not just get what is wanted?”

The Human Struggle is us Learning how to Love and Be Loved.

Sydney: “I don’t want to tell him because I don’t know if I can handle what he says back to me. There is something about not getting what I want that does it for me, thanks mom, but I’m also scared that he’ll tell me things he also wants specifically and then what if I can’t do them? I’d feel like we’d be in court trying to both get what we want. That scares me too much.”

Sydney is in the fork in the road where she can just store up all of these negative feelings for the future and at some point, her relationship will become irreconcilable. Or Sydney can continue doing what she is doing, talk in analysis about anything and put into action what she discovers in her life and relationship.

It took Sydney some time to really conquer her fear of getting what she wants while at the same time getting over the fear of being an incompetent lover herself. She really conquered her fears of not being able to give her man what he also wanted and they both got what they wanted. They made a family. That’s what Sydney had come into analysis for. She wanted a family with her man and knew she would never have it if they kept on the way they did.

The Human Struggle is us Learning how to Love and Be Loved. Sydney had to learn how to love and be loved just enough to get over this boundary in her relationship. When she did, they both moved forward with their desires and had the freedom to gain satisfaction in their lives together.

Learning to negotiate and tell each other the truth about what you want will maintain your relationship in a stable manner, but will bring up many fierce fears and doubts. It’s also common that when we try to do this healthy step, the conversation becomes very unhealthy and an argument ensues. My 4-Step Solution on How to Not Argue with your Lover  gives you the tools and mindset to start up this type of important conversation without the conversation blowing up in your face.

Express your pain without fear. Life is painful and we need a little love to ease the pain.

Mr. Ayala

Modern Psychoanalytical Relationship Specialist

Please follow and like us:

Have Any Experiences that Relate?